Go With The Grain!

Salad for dinner can sometimes be a bit light if you’re hungry. For a Meatless Monday meal, toss together this quinoa and cranberry salad with tomato vinaigrette for a hearty, healthy meal!

Quinoa and Cranberry Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

This recipe is from the cookbook Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin. Chef Martin happens to be the personal chef for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and his cookbook is loaded with dishes everyone will love.

The quinoa in this salad provides fiber and protein to keep you feeling full, and it’s a welcome addition. Along with the salad, put together a tomato vinaigrette dressing (also in the cookbook) that couldn’t be easier to make. For the salad, we used regular quinoa (the recipe calls for red quinoa), and we used regular tomatoes for the dressing instead of heirloom.

Quinoa and Cranberry Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

From the cookbook Vegan Cooking for Carnivores

Serves 6


For the salad:

  • 1 cup red quinoa (we used regular quinoa)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 medium red onion or Vidalia onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 heads butter lettuce or romaine, washed and torn into pieces

For the dressing:

  • 2 medium-size ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped (we used regular tomatoes)
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to season


For the dressing:

  1. Add the first 5 ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Season with the salt and pepper, then place in a container with a tight-fitting lid to chill. (This will keep up to 2 weeks.)

For the salad:

  1. Rinse the quinoa and place it in a small pan. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid on, until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.
  3. When it’s finished cooking, fluff the quinoa with a fork and place it in a flat container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Once the quinoa is cold, toss it with the lettuce and other vegetables, then serve with the chilled tomato vinaigrette.

Toss together a wonderful meal!

More Meatless Monday recipes

Crustless broccoli and cheese quiche
Butternut squash and Swiss chard pizza
Fried egg and asparagus sandwich


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Comments on "Meatless Monday: Quinoa and cranberry salad with tomato vinaigrette"

Angela July 15, 2013 | 8:19 AM

Dressing was delicious and surprisingly creamy, even without the mustard!

Linda January 21, 2013 | 11:47 AM

This sounds so delicious. I can't wait to make it! Thank you:)

Patricia December 31, 2012 | 3:09 PM

Hi Nora - added spinach sounds like a great idea! Enjoy!

Nora December 10, 2012 | 1:27 PM

My kids actually LOVE quinoa, which is especially great since I find it hard to get enough *healthy* proteins in them. This recipe looks so yummy and filling. I can't wait to try it out on the family. I think I'll add in some spinach too for some extra vitamins :)

Patricia December 10, 2012 | 1:16 PM

Thanks Katie and Michelle! This is a really yummy, filling salad and the dressing makes it extra special!

Michelle December 07, 2012 | 10:06 AM

Looks amazing, I love trying different things with quinoa and can't wait to give this a shot.

Katie December 05, 2012 | 3:21 PM

Quinoa is my favorite. I love cooking with it because you can do so much to change up the flavor. Thanks for this recipe! Looks fab :)

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